getting to know your testicles

How to check your testicles and what to look out for

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Men's health: Getting to know your testicles

November is Men’s Health Month – so let’s talk about testicles. Do you know what’s normal for your testicles? Would you be able to easily spot a new lump or swelling?

This guide will tell you all you need to know about checking your testicles at home, what to look out for, and what to do if you spot something unusual.

Why do I need to check my testicles regularly?

Knowing what’s normal for your testicles means you can easily spot anything out of the ordinary. If you notice a change in size, shape or a lump that wasn’t there before, you can get it checked out by a doctor. Ideally, you should check your testicles consistently once a month.

What could a lump or swelling in my testicles mean?

There are a few different reasons you might have an unexplained lump or swelling. It could be from a hydrocele: a painless swelling caused by injury or infection. Or it might be due to an epididymal cyst, which doesn’t require treatment.

Less common, but more serious, is testicular cancer. Only 4 in every 100 lumps are cancer. But it’s important to get them checked out by a doctor.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young men in the UK. There are more than 2,300 new cases every year. The average age for a diagnosis is around 30-35, which means it’s good to get into a habit of checking your testicles regularly.

You’re more at risk of developing testicular cancer if your father or brother have. Luckily, it’s one of the most treatable types of cancer. In fact, 98% of all men live for at least five years or more after diagnosis.

How do I check my testicles?

It’s super easy and won’t take you long at all.

While having a warm shower or bath, roll one testicle between your thumb and your fingers to check for any unusual lumps or pain points. Apply light pressure and do this for both testicles.

What’s considered normal for testicles?

Your testicles should feel relatively smooth, without any lumps or bumps. They should feel firm, but not hard. There’s a soft tube at the back of each called the epididymis, which might feel a bit lumpy; that’s totally normal.

I’ve found a lump, what do I do?

Don’t panic – testicular cancer is very rare. The first step is to get checked out by a doctor as soon as you can. They’ll examine the lump or swelling and advise you of next steps.

Have more questions about men’s health? You can always book an appointment with our GPs.

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